September 18, 2016

A River Ride Down to Red Wing, Minnesota


A River Ride Down to Red Wing, Minnesota
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for September 18, 2016


On Saturday, we connected with our good friends, The Zitzewitz Family, to go on a boat ride down the river to Red Wing, Minnesota.


This has kind of been our annual thing.  The past couple of years we stayed at Treasure Island Casino, but this year we decided to go a little further South.


Captain Karl drives us around.


While we all sit around him and admire his skills.


I like watching the trains go over the bridge over the river.  Then I wonder how old is that bridge and when was the last time it was inspected?  Trains are heavy!


Ana is King of the World!  Or Queen.  I'm not sure which.


Our favorite thing to on the river is bird watching.  Although it kind of felt like this guy was watching us!


We kind of felt like we were getting watched all over the place!  Especially by the bald eagles.  They were totally stalking us.


I swear we saw more than 20 bald eagles during our trip.  We are so fascinated with these majestic creatures.  They were endangered when we were kids, so it's nice to see their population has come back so strong only 30 some years later.


This guy tried to run a stop light so we called the cops on him.


We try not to laugh at birds when they are having a hard time, but when this guy fell off the bridge backwards we couldn't help ourselves.


We were lucky enough to have to go through one of the locks on our way down.  These are maintained by the US Corps of Engineers and they basically raise or lower your boats to different parts of the river.  It's an interesting process to go through.


It gives us time to enjoy each other's company before we start traveling down the river again.


It's a nice feeling when they open the gates and let us out of the lock.  You start feeling claustrophobic in there.


We finally arrived at our destination,  The Red Wing Marina in Red Wing, Minnesota.  


We got out of the boat and went straight to take another picture of ourselves.  We didn't think we had enough of those yet.


Then we went to dinner.  Then we went to bed.  We were all very excited to get back on the boat again so we could head back home the next morning.


It was nice and sunny for the ride back home.


We had to wait for three barges to come through the lock before we could go back into it again.  I'm amazed they could fit all of these in there.


When we saw the bridge where we had to leave the Mississippi River and get back on the St. Croix, we knew our trip was almost over.  Then we cried and cried because it was so sad for all the fun to end.  It was a good weekend on the river!